Archive, Industry News

Rego assistance doesn’t go far enough, SARTA says

Trucking lobby blasts South Australian Government for not doing enough to help operators cope with higher registration fees

Ruza Zivkusic-Aftasi | July 25, 2012

The South Australian trucking lobby has blasted the state’s government for not doing enough to help operators cope with higher registration fees, saying the concession for road trains announced last month will only benefit a few.

South Australian Road Transport Association (SARTA) President Sharon Middleton says new registration fees, which took effect on July 1 and led to significant increases to some combinations, are a hard blow for already struggling operators.

Transport Minister Patrick Conlon attempted to soften the impact by offering a full rebate on registration charges for all dollies, but Middleton says the scheme “only benefits a small number of operators and falls well short of assisting broader industry”.

“These are very tough times and those of us in South Australia are badly disadvantaged and are getting far less support from our government than that being provided to our neighbouring states with whom we routinely must compete,” Middleton says.

“The new registration fees, even with the dolly concession, do nothing to encourage use of higher productivity vehicles and so the industry’s objectives of improving safety and environmental outcomes by using less rather than more trucks for the freight task simply cannot be achieved.”

Middleton says SARTA has held meetings with the government to express its concerns.

“We are currently making the [transport] minister well aware of every benefit being offered by interstate governments and pressing him to consider matching them,” she says.

“It is quite clear that there is really no such thing as national uniformity on this issue and so it’s frustrating to say the least to have our government use that as the justification for adopting these damaging registration fees.”

New South Wales last week announced a broad-based assistance package that included scrapping stamp duty on the purchase of new trailers and providing a 50 percent rebate to operators with spare trailers. Eligible operators must own one or two prime movers or rigid trucks and no more than five trailers.

Middleton praised Family First MP Robert Brokenshire for moving a disallowance motion against the new charges but doubts his efforts will achieve anything.

“It is heartening to see Robert Brokenshire investigating and understanding these hardships. However, it is unlikely the Opposition will block supply by supporting him. So, regrettably, industry and our community will suffer,” she says.

Bookmark and Share

Previous ArticleNext Article
  1. Australian Truck Radio Listen Live
Send this to a friend